D-Backs chase Cain and beat Giants
PHOENIX – Built on pitching, San Francisco has seen its starters struggle at just the wrong time.
The Giants fell five games behind NL wild-card leader Colorado after a 10-8 loss to Arizona on Tuesday, when starter Matt Cain could not get out of the third inning.
Cain gave up seven runs in 2 1-3 innings while losing his second straight start. No Giants starter has won since Barry Zito beat Colorado eight days ago. Still, the Giants 3.63 ERA remains second in the NL.
“As good as they’ve been, you know they are going to trip once in awhile. It so happens it’s been the whole rotation here,” San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said.
“Our pitching right now is struggling, our starters, but they are fighting. We had the right guy out there. He was just off today. It’s going to happen. The hitters were fighting to pick him up.”
San Francisco (81-70) scored three runs in the ninth inning but did not put the tying run on base while falling into a with Atlanta behind Colorado (86-65).
“It’s been bad. All of us have not done what we wanted to do,” said Cain (13-7), whose ERA jumped from 2.71 to 2.99.
“It’s very disappointing. I feel like I let a lot of guys down.”
The Giants do not play NL West leader Los Angeles or any of the wild card contenders in their final 11 games.
“It makes things tougher, no getting around it. We know what’s at stake,” Bochy said.
Mark Reynolds, who struck out three times to break his own major league record with 206, also doubled in a run off Cain in a three-run second inning. It was his 100th RBI of the season.
“He just left a lot of balls over the plate. If you look at our hits, they are catching a lot of white” of the plate, Reynolds said. “Normally he is on the corners with his fastball and slider.”
Arizona catcher Miguel Montero had three of Arizona’s 16 hits and drove in two runs in Cain’s shortest start of the season that was not curtailed by injury. He was removed in the second inning of a game July 11 against San Diego when he was hit in the arm by a line drive.
San Francisco built a 3-0 lead, the last two runs coming on Cain’s first major league triple in the second inning, before Arizona scored three runs in its second and six more in the third to lead 9-4.
Brandon Allen had two hits and two RBIs for Arizona, which broke a three-game losing streak. Arizona (66-86) had won only four of its previous 17 games.
Rusty Ryal had three hits, including a home run off reliever Randy Johnson, and scored three runs.
Justin Upton had two hits and Gerardo Parra had a double and two RBIs.
Pablo Sandoval had three hits and three RBIs, and his two-run triple in the ninth inning off Juan Gutierrez cut Arizona’s lead to 10-7. Sandoval scored on Randy Winn’s sacrifice fly before Gutierrez retired the final two batters.
Sandoval has 18 hits in 34 at-bats at Chase Field this season.
Eugenio Velez and Andres Torres had three hits.
Doug Davis (8-13) settled down after giving up four runs in the first two innings. He allowed 10 hits and five runs in 7 1-3 innings to win for the first time since Aug. 1 0. He was 0-3 with four no-decisions in his previous seven starts.
“It feels good. I have to hand it to our offense tonight. They battled back after I had a rough three innings,” Davis said.
The umpires used instant replay to change the ruling on a hit originally called a two-run home run by Parra in the third.
With Montero on first base, Parra hit a fly ball to deep right-center field that appeared to land just beyond the fence near the 413-foot sign. First base umpire Marty Foster signaled a home run.
San Francisco center fielder Aaron Rowand immediately ran toward the infield to argue, and crew chief Wally Bell reversed the ruling after watching a replay that seemed to indicate the ball hit the top of the fence and bounced back onto the field.
Parra was given a double, but Montero was permitted to score.
NOTES: Johnson made his second relief appearance of the season for the Giants in the seventh inning, striking out three and giving up Ryal’s third major league homer. It was Johnson’s first relief outing in Chase Field since winning Game 7 of the 2001 World Series with one inning of work. Johnson got a small ovation from the crowd when he was announced. … San Francisco second baseman Freddy Sanchez was unavailable Tuesday after suffering a knee injury Monday when he landed awkwardly while catching a return throw from the outfield in the top of the first inning of the Giants’ 5-4 victory. “There is a little bit more of a tear in the meniscus,” Bochy said after learning of the results of an MRI on Tuesday. “We’ll rehab him. It is probably going to be a few days, if not more,” before he can play.
Athletics 9, Rangers 1
OAKLAND – Trevor Cahill reached his target of 10 wins. Now Oakland’s rookie right-hander is aiming for more.
Cahill scattered six hits over 5 2-3 innings to win his fourth straight decision and got plenty of support from his teammates, who stayed on a roll offensively in a 9-1 victory over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night.
“It’s one of those goals you set at the beginning of the year,” Cahill said of his 10 wins, three of which have come against the Rangers. “I’ve gotten lucky and had I’ve had my good stuff two or three times against them. Tonight I didn’t have my best stuff but kind of got lucky, got some double plays when guys were on. Sometimes it just works out that way.”
Kurt Suzuki and Daric Barton drove in two runs apiece for Oakland, which had 12 hits against five pitchers. Five players had two hits each as the A’s clinched their first winning month in more than a year.
Texas’ loss kept the Rangers 6 1/2 games behind Boston in the AL Wild card and it clinched a postseason berth for the New York Yankees.
“They are a pretty good young team and they finally put it together,” Texas manager Ron Washington said of his former team, the A’s. “Their pitching staff is young and those kids have gotten their feet wet and they are showing their ability that they have.”
Oakland improved to 14-6 in September, tied with Colorado for the best record in the majors. It’s the first time since June 2008 the A’s have had a winning record in a month.
Suzuki hit a two-run double and scored on Barton’s RBI single during a five-run seventh when the A’s broke the game open to win for the 10th time in 12 games.
Barton had two hits and is batting .393 (11 for 28) over his last nine games.
“Daric really the last couple of weeks has been our hottest hitter, quietly doing it because there hasn’t been the big homer or whatever,” Oakland manager Bob Geren said. “But if you’re looking for the most consistent guy for the last 15-20 days, he’s been the guy.”
David Murphy had two hits and an RBI while Ivan Rodriguez singled twice for the Rangers, who lost for the eighth time in 11 games.
Texas carried a four-game road winning streak into the game and had scored at least 10 runs in each of the four victories, one shy of the major league record. But the Rangers weren’t able to get much going against Cahill.
In addition to extending his career-best winning streak to four games, Cahill improved to 3-1 against the Rangers and hasn’t lost to any team since falling to Baltimore on Aug. 11.
The A’s right-hander became Oakland’s second 10-game winner this season. Cahill (10-12) retired the first seven batters and got some help from Oakland’s defense, which turned double plays in three straight innings and four overall.
Jack Cust walked with one out in the fifth and scored when Nelson Cruz misplayed Barton’s sinking liner into a triple. Barton was running to third when the relay throw home from Texas second baseman Ian Kinsler skipped past catcher Rodriguez for an error, so Barton kept going and scored to make it 2-0.
The A’s added another run in the fourth on Barton’s RBI single then broke it open in the seventh with five straight hits and six overall. Rajai Davis had an RBI single to start the inning, Suzuki and Cust added run-scoring doubles and Mark Ellis also knocked in a run to give the A’s a seven-run lead.
Craig Breslow, Jerry Blevins and Brad Ziegler completed the seven-hitter for Oakland.
Texas starter Brandon McCarthy (7-4) pitched effectively but lost for only the second time in his last six decisions. Both losses have come against Oakland, which has won eight of the last 10 games between the teams.
The Rangers’ right-hander gave up five hits but was done in by Kinsler’s throwing error in the second and by Texas’ offense which went 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position.
“I should have done a better job backing up bases,” McCarthy said. “I have to be a little better than I was tonight.”
NOTES: Oakland is 5-1 on its current homestand. … The A’s won despite leadoff hitter Adam Kennedy getting ejected in the first inning for arguing with home plate umpire Eric Cooper after being called out on strikes. It was the fifth ejection of Kennedy’s career, his first since 2006. … Texas rookie SS Elvis Andrus went 1 for 4 and is batting .298 over his last 51 games.
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